Chassol has revisited the Gaumont film archives with his unique musical touch in an exhibition, concert, and screening series at La Gaîté Lyrique.
In 2003, Christophe Chassol – musician, composer and arranger – collaborated with Gaumont on new theme music to accompany the film company’s famous daisy logo. Now, two decades later, Chassol has crafted a contemporary take on the Gaumont catalogue in an exhibition, concert, and screening series at the crossroads of music and cinema, presented at La Gaîté Lyrique.
Chassol’s Les Marguerites Gaumont is a piece comprising clips from 15 films, which Chassol has reworked, set to music, arranged and edited to make what he calls “ultrascores.” One of Chassol’s signature artistic techniques, ultrascores are created by transcribing each spoken syllable as a musical note, transforming dialogue into scores, rhythms and melodies. Words flow into music. Chassol invites us to (re)discover legendary films from his unique, inventive perspective: The Dinner Game, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, Camille Rewinds, Kitchen with Apartment and many more.
The title, Les Marguerites Gaumont (The Gaumont Daisies), is a nod to founder Léon Gaumont, who choose a daisy for the logo in 1903 as a tribute to his mother, Marguerite Dupanloup. This thoughtful approach has been an integral part of Gaumont ever since.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Chassol is returning to the stage on September 15 to premier the live performance of Les Marguerites, continuing the long history of concerts at La Gaîté Lyrique. A free series of talks, screenings, and workshops will also be held alongside the three-month exhibition.
"I’m a musician who creates serious, accessible music in a pop format,” says the artist. As a disciple of the minimalist school (Steve Reich, John Adams) with a flair for pop (he has toured with Phoenix and Sébastien Tellier), Chassol takes the road less travelled. He has cut a singular figure since the 90s with his compositions for cinema, both as a conductor and in his “ultrascore” performances using sound elements from film. Chassol has used his trademark technique in his X-Pianos, Indiamore, Big Sun and Ludi projects, and now in Les Marguerites Gaumont.
The world’s oldest film company, Gaumont continues to thrive today and will soon celebrate its 130th anniversary. Gaumont is committed to preserving its heritage and ensuring its catalogue lives on, by promoting creative uses and exploration in exhibitions and events across the globe – many in places that one might not expect.